Press Council not a ‘paper tiger’, says PCI Chairman

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) The Press Council of India (PCI) is “neither a paper tiger nor a regulator”, its Chairman C.K. Prasad said here on Tuesday, and added that the council has only been trying to be a “facilitator” for press freedom.

Addressing a press conference, Prasad said: “In media, we are often described as a paper tiger…this is not true.”

The former judge cited the example of one verdict of the PCI which has gone against an incumbent Union minister.

The PCI Chairman said: “We are not a regulator, as often suggested. The council is not here for policing the media.”

But, he said, the delay in disposing of cases has been an issue before the PCI and steps have been taken accordingly to ensure that pending cases are disposed of fast.

“We disposed of about 1,000 cases during my tenure since November 2014. So far, we have only 282 cases pending and most of these are dated after April 1, 2016.”

“In fact, disposing of the old cases have helped pass the message that the Council means business and is not a paper tiger,” he stressed.

Prasad said the PCI will celebrate National Press Day and PCI Golden Jubilee on November 16 (Wednesday).

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will grace the session,” he said, adding the Press Council delegations from Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka would be attending the function.

“Delegations from Pakistan are also expected…they have confirmed and now we are trying to arrange visas for them,” Prasad said.

PCI member C.K. Naik, a senior journalist, said as Bhutan and Afghanistan do not have any press councils, they would be represented at the Golden Jubilee functions by the representatives from their embassies here.

Senior journalist S. Nihal Singh, among others, will be honoured with the special “Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award” for “Outstanding Contribution Towards Journalism”, he said.

–IANS

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